Probably, this was the last time that the Bollywood Fraternity seemed happy and a jolt of ‘togetherness’ was felt. “Om Shanti Om'” was helmed by Farah Khan (a choreographer) who earlier directed the Superhit commercial masala “Main Hoon Na” (2004). The film starred Shahrukh Khan(s), debutant Deepika Padukone and Arjun Rampal in all-grey shade along with major Hindi actors featuring either in a song or an award sequence.
Frankly, I don’t remember the last out-an-out enjoyable commercial film like “Om Shanti Om” (OSO). It had all the perfect ensemble elements (even if they were borrowed), right from love story, reincarnation, action, songs, OTT scenes and nevertheless, the Bollywood insider. Farah Khan who paid an extravagant tribute to the industry which she grew up watching and loving it. And she made the audience care about the timeworn cliches and sincere homage in comical sense. The messy story-line and the complexity of the reincarnation parts were handled well and hey, we get to see a poor guy turning into a superstar for real. And Farah made it immensely believable. Thanks to the engaging melodrama!
I was in 6th standard when the film released on 9th November, 2009. I was so eager and desperate to watch the film unfortunately since it was Diwali vacation I was at my native place without any theaters even in distant vicinity. I remember watching the premiere of the two big releases on an entertainment channel- Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Saawariya” was clashing on the same day and things were ugly between the makers of both films. I was vouching for OSO and it hit the records but years later I fell in love with the ‘cinema’ of “Saawariya” but obviously I had evolved. I vividly remember my return to Pune as I struggled on my bicycle amidst the scorching heat of 12pm to buy a pirated CD (back then watching films in theaters was a rare occasion). I did steal some 40rs and bought the CD. And I was drooling over the second part of the film, post-incarnation. It was so fascinating to witness all the big stars in a perfect ensemble blended smartly.
I used to re-watch the sequences of Om Kapoor (the reincarnated version) where he wakes up with an amazing monologue where he delivers his dream is coming true which co-incidentally my younger sister delivered two days back.: “Yash Chopra Ki Set Ki Tarah Shandaar Bedroom Hoga…”. [WATCH HERE] With interesting and memorable dialogues, quirky scenes and people making fun of themselves whole-heartedly (a rare sight now), it just blended the Indian spices well. And to outsiders, OSO can be shown as a template of what Bollywood WAS!
In 2009, at the annual school gathering we even danced to “Deewangi” song where in I was the lead dancer (looked more like a joker than Shahrukh Khan) and we had a mid-sequence where like the stars enter the original song sequence we had a bunch of students performing fashion show. The two tremendously and insanely favorite sequences are the Filmfare Awards [WATCH HERE] and the “Deewangi” song [WATCH HERE], filled with 31 stars. Hell yeah, witness it yourself!
Thank You Farah Khan! for introducing us to the talented Deepika Padukone, an old-school charm she carried terrifically throughout the film even surpassing Shahrukh Khan in few scenes. The success of OSO would never be encashed on the way it did 10 years before but I wish Shahrukh would do such kind of perfect masala (though there’s no right recipe even if you find many in this film) rather than going on downward spiral with “Dilwale” and stuff.
May be I was hitting the puberty when the film hit the box-office or the hit at the box-office was strong (which was) to hit me or my sensibility matched with the Bollywoodhish extravaganza? I don’t know yet, may be 10 years later I’ll have an answer or ‘Om Shanti Om’ is my guilty pleasure. It surely fascinatingly provided, an ensemble of sheer pleasures through the ‘love for cinema’.
Picture Abhi Baki Hai Mere Dost…
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